August 21, 2017 Riley

Give yourself a break for once and just relax.  Oh, you don’t have time?  It’s probably because you, like most people, have over-complicated your life.  Did you know you can undo that and make things simple, like they used to be when you were a kid.  This sounds impossible or fluff to make you ‘feel’ capable, I assure you this doesn’t just sound good it is good and real.  Before I get into the simplicity of life, I’ll tell you a story about how I over complicate the simplest tasks.


I like to think that everything in life has to be complex because nothing seems easy or simple anymore.  There is so much going on around me advertisements, new technology, social media, awesome movies, school, work, family, hobbies, etc.  It’s overwhelming to try to encompass it all.  I try to have my hand in all the action because it seems like the thing to do. Once my energy is drained from stuff that doesn’t matter I find myself more irritated trying to cram all the important things onto the my to-do list.


Useless things are easy for our brains to be entertained by, they don’t require much cognitive energy.  The important things typically require our attention, you can see why we get distracted and sidetracked from what really matters.  You know the feeling of disappointment and shame after you realize the time wasted on useless junk, and just like that you’ve entered into something called a feedback loop.  There are two types of feedback loops, positive and negative.  


A feedback loop is a self-perpetuating system of reinforcement.  Here’s an example from my own life; I look at successful peers and think ‘wow they’re doing something great’, at first I am supportive until I think of where I “could/should” be then I become bitter.  The negative feedback loop just begun.  I now look at myself as inferior and see only negative things around me.  I apply for a job and don’t get an interview or  I get an interview and don’t get the job, this doesn’t register as good practice or not the right fit, it registers as self-deprecation.  The string of thoughts go something like this, “I am not good at anything, I can’t do anything right, I must not amount to much”. And the loop continues, around and around we go.


The negativity always comes back to itself, hence the ‘loop’ part.  The feedback depends on our perception and attention.  Amid the negativity it’s hard to see the positive, which makes it difficult to have a simple life.  The feedback loop will fuel you or drain you completely.  I don’t want to talk about the feedback loop too much because I want to dive into a simple life, but I will say if you want to get into a positive feedback loop it can be as simple as setting a goal to wake up and immediately brush your teeth.  When you follow through your brain will register that as a job well done and you’ve shifted your subconscious mind toward positivity and achievement, this will make it easier for you to get into a positive feedback loop by looking at the good over the bad.


Now you can see why things are complicated for you, it’s because all of your energy is spent trying to be happy and be on top of things while the negative feedback loop torments you. I have had some extensive experience with negative feedback loops, they’re exhausting, uncomfortable, debilitating, and lame.  Once you gain some traction with positivity here are some tips to simplify your life.



  • GROUP LIKE THINGS: Spaghetti and meatballs right?  I suppose, if you like Italian food but I mean categorize your life.  Looking at life’s components as a whole is daunting, so separate some stuff and group like things.  For me the less categories the better.  I group like things based on what I value like my family, friends, and personal growth.  If something doesn’t clearly fit into one of these three it’s a gonner.  



  • SYSTEMATIZE: Make your mornings and evenings a breeze by having a system in place.  No more scrambling to get out the door in the morning or wasting the evening away.  Taking care those two moments will make you life so much simpler. You can plan for time to relax, read, catch up, eat, workout, or whatever you want.  If you have a system for every morning and evening you will have more brain power to focus on the important things.



  • IT’S ALL ELEMENTARY: Every living thing is a complex organism and made up of simple elements. Think of every task, happening, event, job, thought, emotion, everything as being made up of simple ‘elements’.  You can break anything down to it’s basic elements, things aren’t as complex as they seem.  Life will be so much smoother if you don’t add unneeded and unwanted ‘elements’ to things to make them something they’re not.



There you have it, some simple advice to making your life simpler!  Try it out and don’t complicate the simple, simplify the complicated.


live life decided.